Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing boasts about their method: "Speaking of buttonholes, we show you how to make Vogue's streamlined one-piece fabric buttonhole. We love it. It's quick and easy." It's funny that VoNBBS acts like they invented this method, because as far as I can tell, it's the standard "patch" method.
Now, I am not impressed with this method. I first attempted it while making my taffeta skirt, and the results were so sad that I ended up just making the buttonhole by machine. But not this time! I'm determined to make some pretty bound buttonholes if it's the last thing I do, damn it.
So I turned to Issue 140 of Threads Magazine, which has an article on bound buttonholes that promises "professional results with industry techniques." I admit I have a soft spot for this article because the author, Barbara Frangione, opens the piece with a charming story. Here's a little excerpt:
Once upon a time (actually, it was during the winter of 1949), I took a draping class in New York City. I rode Long Island Railroad to get to class, and I usually sat next to a fellow student whose father owned a clothing factory.Can you believe he said that, readers? What a cad! I don't like this young fellow one bit. But the story has a happy ending, in which Barbara learns an industry technique for making bound buttonholes. It involves using strips rather than patches, a technique that looks a little something like this:
One night, I wore my new wool coat - a Vogue pattern with every plaid meticulously matched and not a thread out of place. The bound buttonholes were made the way the pattern instructions had always directed. Needless to say, I was more than pleased with my work.
I said to my fellow passenger, "I made this coat."
"I know you did," he said.
When I asked how he knew, he replied, "By the buttonholes. They're just not right."
You then turn the strips to the inside and secure them in place. So that's what I will be testing out tonight (on some scrap fabric first, of course). Wish me luck!
And please, anyone have any great tips on bound buttonholes? I need all the help I can get!